Today I'm reporting from the Montgomery Tech Conference in Santa Monica Ca, and it's surprising and refreshing to find such an excited and optimistic assortment of startups and potential investors. The buzz throughout the Fairmont Miramar Hotel seems entirely disconnected from the grim reality on Wall Street; a number of investors here tell me they're hopeful it's these entrepreneurs who will lead the economy out of recession.
The stock market may have — according to Warren Buffett— dropped off a cliff, but private equity and venture capital investments continue to chug along. It's much harder to raise new capital these days, to say the least. But believe it or not, private equity and VC players still have billions of dollars, raised over the past few years, to invest.
Montgomery & Co, a boutique M&A bank which specializes in media and tech deals is connecting 165 startups presenting at the conference with hundreds of VC and private equity funds as well as media and tech giants, from Microsoft and Intel, to Disney and Fox, all of whom have sent representatives. The conference features presentations from each startup, and perhaps even more importantly, is coordinating over one thousand meetings between potential investors and startups, twice the number scheduled at this same conference last year.